A Look Back: Nike Basketball Holiday ’96

A Look Back: Nike Basketball Holiday ’96

Happy Holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when kids and adults start making their wish lists for all the sneakers and gear they love. I remember wanting A LOT of the sneakers and apparel just in the Nike Basketball section alone back in December of 1996. It was a different era back then – when you waited every day for the Eastbay catalog to arrive in the mail. Then when you opened it, you literally saw all the new sneaker models for the first time. It was overwhelming to say the least!

I still have two of the original Eastbay Holiday ‘96 catalogs – one with a cover displaying a Christmas tree with stars like John Elway and Shawn Kemp displayed as ornaments, and another cover with a cartoon of a basketball-playing elf that forgot his shoes. Fortunately, Eastbay came to the rescue!

Every Eastbay catalog had an introduction paragraph from founders Art Juedes and Richard Gering with a little inspirational message. “Make two wish lists this holiday season. On the first, list the athletic accomplishments you plan on achieving in your present sport and during the new year. On the second, include the finest shoes, clothing and equipment from Eastbay necessary to help you achieve these goals,” wrote Juedes and Gering.

It was cool to see the founders of the company still so involved with the catalog publications. It felt like a mom and pop shop that had everything you could ever imagine. With that in mind, here’s a look back at the Nike Basketball pages from 25 years ago.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike Air More Uptempo basketball shoe

Air More Uptempo

A sneaker that is still as popular as it was 25 years ago, the Air More Uptempo continues to retro every year in both OG and new colorways. For the holidays in 1996, Nike released a black/white/chili red colorway that has yet to ever see a retro. Designed by Wilson Smith, the More Uptempo was a revolutionary sneaker in terms of design and technology. It was one of the first basketball sneakers to feature visible Air throughout the shoe. Scottie Pippen made the shoe famous when he rocked the black/white colorway in the ‘96 Playoffs. Unfortunately, he never wore this particular colorway on the court.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike Air Much Uptempo Basketball Shoe

Air Much Uptempo

The “takedown” version of the Air More Uptempo, the Much Uptempo featured virtually the same design but with a different sole. For Holiday ‘96, Nike dropped a sleek white/black colorway for men, along with a white/navy/royal and white/obsidian colorway for the ladies. Sadly, the Much Uptempo has yet to retro.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike Air Penny Mid, Air Money Lo and Air CB 34 Mid

Air CB 34

Also designed by Wilson Smith, the Air CB 34 was made for Suns superstar Charles Barkley. After being traded by the Sixers to the Suns in 1992, Barkley started rocking a ton of Nike heat. He became so popular, he earned his own sneaker line. Like the Air More Uptempo, the CB 34 also featured visible Air throughout the sole. The CB 34 last retro’d in 2016.

Air Money Lo

The Air Money was a wild design, even by ‘90s Nike basketball sneaker standards. With a fascinating lacing system and shroud covering with the large NIKE AIR lettering covering the top of the sneaker, the Money was a bold sneaker in many ways. It was actually worn by players like Reggie Miller and Eddie Jones in the NBA, so clearly it was meant for serious hooping. The Money also featured the same exact sole as the Much Uptempo. Interestingly, the Money came back in 2018, but with the More Uptempo sole instead.

Air Penny 2

Nike was cranking out one epic sneaker after another for their newest star, Penny Hardaway. The Air Penny 1 was nice, and the Air Zoom Flight was amazing as well. Then, Nike released the Air Penny 2. Incredibly, this shoe was $5 more than the Air Jordan 12; that’s how popular Penny Hardaway was back in the day. And, it’s safe to say that the $139.99 price tag was worth it. Featuring a forefoot Zoom-Air unit and a massive Air Max visible heel unit, the Air Penny 2 was packed with cushioning along with its breathtaking design. Also note the outsole shown in the catalogs was all white, whereas the actual sneaker that dropped had blue on the bottom.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike  Air Zoom Flight, Air Flight Mid, Air Jordan XXII Basketball Shoes

Air Zoom Flight

Arguably Nike’s most responsive sneaker at the time – the Air Zoom Flight (now known as the Air Zoom Flight 96) featured Tensile-Air, aka Zoom Air, in the forefoot. It also had a large-volume heel Air Sole unit. The Zoom Flight had incredible cushioning, plus it had a TPU midfoot stability plate that helped propel your foot off the ground. Magic star Penny Hardaway wore the white/navy/gold colorway when he played for the Team USA basketball team in the ‘96 Olympics.

Air Flight Mid

The Air Flight Mid was a takedown version of the Air Zoom Flight. It was not nearly as comfortable as the Zoom Flight, but still looked cool. The Flight Mid featured Nike Air in the heel, but lacked the Tensile-Air in the forefoot. It still had the shank plate to enhance stability, and also had full-grain leather with a “super skin” reinforced rand. Most notably, Kings guard Mitch Richmond rocked the Air Flight Mid when he was on Team USA.

Air Jordan 12

One of the most breathtaking designs ever – the Air Jordan XII was the best for the best – Michael Jordan. Featuring full-length Air and a reinforced carbon fiber plate, the Air Jordan 12 was one of the sleekest, most stylish basketball sneakers ever seen on the basketball court. To go along with the sneaker was the iconic Nike Phone Ad plus the “Frozen Moment” commercial where MJ takes on the LA Lakers. Now known as the “Taxi” colorway, OG sneakerheads typically refer to this model as just the “White/Black” AJ12.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike Air Adjust and Air Modify Force Basketball Shoes

Air Adjust and Air Modify Force

Yet another revolutionary model for Nike – the Air Adjust and Air Modify Force sneakers came with a pair of FitWrap straps that you could put on the shoes. There were also 11 different team colors available, so you could all match your jerseys and your shoes. Color coordination was very important in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, so these straps were everything for high school and college teams. The Air Adjust and Air Modify have never retro’d, however designer Yoon of AMBUSH has teased a potential retro on her social media recently.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Nike Basketball Apparel

Apparel

It’s definitely worth highlighting all the Nike basketball apparel available that holiday season, including Nike Jumpman practice tanks, tees, sweatshirts and warm-ups. The main color schemes were black, red, white and taxi, which matched the Air Jordan 12 perfectly. Also of note were some very stylish Durasheen shorts and tees. Durasheen would be Nike’s go-to mesh material for a solid 5 years. There was something about that shimmery shine that everyone loved.

Drew Hammell A Look Back

Drew is the creator of @nikestories on Instagram. Growing up in the ’90s, Drew loved playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and even dabbled in cross country running. He ended up focusing on tennis in high school and helped lead his team to multiple state titles. His favorite athletes growing up include Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Andre Agassi, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He was smart enough to save all his old Eastbay catalogs from the ’90s and loves sharing them with the sneaker community. Follow him at @nikestories or read more of his work here.

Eastbay Performance Explained: Why You Should Buy Eastbay’s New Athletic Apparel

Eastbay Performance Explained: Why You Should Buy Eastbay’s New Athletic Apparel

Eastbay Performance is here! The new apparel line is designed for the 24/7 athlete – those who want to look and feel their best in the gym, on the training field, and everywhere in between. Athletes like Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, who trusts Eastbay Performance to get him through tough quarterback workouts, travel days, or two-a-days.

The Eastbay Performance line includes a few different collections, including Compression, GymTech, WindTech, and TempTech. Each collection is built to meet the specific needs of an athlete, both in and outside the game.

Eastbay Performance Athletic Apparel Compression Collection

Eastbay Compression

Compression is a must-have for every athlete in every sport. Eastbay’s new collection includes shorts, tights, tanks, and tops in a variety of staple colors so you always have the support you need to put in the work. They’re perfect for layering under GymTech apparel when you’re in the weight room or running drills or under your uniform on gamedays, and their moisture-wicking fabric pulls sweat away from your body so you stay comfortable and focused.

Stock up on new Eastbay Compression here ->

 

Eastbay Performance Athletic Apparel GymTech Collection

Eastbay GymTech

Eastbay’s GymTech collection is apparel designed to be light and comfortable for any type of workout and every sport. These shorts, tops, and jackets are made from stretchy, breathable fabric cut in a regular fit for comfort and a full range of motion. So whether you’re lifting, lunging, or lounging around before practice starts, you’ll be cool and comfortable. Jalen Hurts swears by the GymTech Short-Sleeve Tee for all his workouts.

Grab new gym gear from Eastbay’s GymTech collection here ->
Eastbay Performance Athletic Apparel WindTech Collection

Eastbay WindTech

Designed for warmups, cooldowns, or going to and from practice, Eastbay’s WindTech collection features pants, shorts, and jackets in classic colors so you can easily pair them with any of the Eastbay Performance pieces. Ultra-lightweight with built-in ventilation panels and reflective details, the WindTech pieces are great for when the weather starts getting a little cooler and you want to keep your muscles warmed up and ready to go.

Check out the full WindTech collection here ->
Eastbay Performance Athletic Apparel TempTech Collection

Eastbay TempTech

Being an athlete never stops. It’s more than a game – it’s a lifestyle – so even when you’re not training or playing, you need apparel that’s comfortable and flattering while still bringing that competitive edge. Eastbay’s TempTech collection has sweats, hoodies, and full-zips that deliver all three. These pieces are warm with a regular fit that keeps you comfortable and relaxed in class, on the bus, or hanging with the team. Jalen Hurts’ favorite way to rock TempTech is as a full sweatsuit. His go-tos are the Pullover Hoodie and matching Fleece Pant.

Layer up in TempTech here ->
Eastbay Performance Athletic Apparel Game. Train. Live.

We know you’re focused on crushing goals and breaking records this season, so make sure your athletic apparel is up to the challenge. Eastbay Performance is a must-have for every athlete.

Shop the full collection at eastbay.com

Game. Train. Live.

Game Recognize Game: Timber Creek’s Savannah Henderson is our June Winner

Game Recognize Game: Timber Creek’s Savannah Henderson is our June Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is basketball standout Savannah Henderson from Florida’s Timber Creek High School.

Already committed to UCF, Savannah works hard to maintain a high GPA while balancing community service hours and dedication to her craft. Savannah was nominated by head coach Freddie Cintron, who recognizes her commitment to success on the court and in the classroom.

 

“Savannah has redefined what it means to be a student athlete here at Timber Creek. In the classroom she has worked diligently to earn a 4.2 GPA while also leading our Girls Basketball program to 3 straight District Championships, 1 Regional Championship, and a Final Four appearance in the state of Florida Class 7A. She has become the leading scorer in program history in addition to numerous other accolades. She is driven for success and her work ethic is unmatched.”

Here’s what Savannah had to say about her love for the game and her plans for the future:

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student athlete is someone who can succeed at a high level not only in their sport but in the classroom as well! 

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

The highlight of my athletic career so far has been being ranked one of the top 40 players in the country in the ESPN Top 100 in the class of 2022! And committing to play Division One basketball at The University of Central Florida for my mom! 

Who is your role model in athletics?

My role models in athletics are Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant! Kobe Bryant because of his unbelievable work ethic and passion for the game of basketball, and Kevin Durant because of his ability to score at will on all areas on the floor with ease. 

What do you love most about competing?

What I love most about competing is that I am able to use it as an escape! When playing, I am able to use all the built up emotion that I have and focus it towards something. So, when I play, I am able to let out all of those emotions and play the sport I love! Not only that but I love the competitive nature that comes with the sport. I love to compete and I love to win! 

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

After high school I would like to get my college degree along with working towards my goal of playing overseas! Even though I love the game, the ball eventually stops bouncing, so I am using medicine as my back up plan with plans of going to med school and becoming an anesthesiologist! 

 

 

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Improve Your Handle with Drills from Adrianna Hahn

Improve Your Handle with Drills from Adrianna Hahn

Adrianna Hahn is a former college basketball star who played at Villanova for four seasons. Following her graduation, she has become an advocate for women’s basketball as well as a trainer for young boys and girls. Adrianna shared several great workouts that you can do at home this summer to really develop your handle. Check it out below.

Drill #1 

What You Need: Two Basketballs

Start by doing two pound dribbles with a ball for each hand then perform a crossover.

Switch to one pound dribble and then hit the crossover.

Finish with continuous crossovers.

Change to two pound dribbles with a ball for each hand and then go behind your back.

Switch to one pound dribble and then go behind your back.

End with continuous behind-the-back dribbles.

*Video includes other variations for this drill*

Drill #2

What You Need: A Basketball and a Tennis Ball

Start by dribbling the basketball with one hand while tossing the tennis ball up and catching it with the

other hand.

Switch to two pound dribbles and then perform a crossover all while continually tossing and catching the tennis ball.

Change to one pound dribble then hitting a crossover while tossing and catching the tennis ball.

Finish with continuous crossovers while tossing the tennis ball back and forth between your hands.

Switch to two pound dribbles and then go between your legs. You should still be tossing the tennis ball up.

Shift to one pound dribble and then go between your legs.

End with continuous between-the-legs dribbles.

*Video includes other variations for this drill*

What You Need: A Basketball and a Cone

Place the cone a couple feet in front of you.

Start with the ball in your left hand. Perform a crossover then step forward with your left foot and go between your legs with the ball.

Switch to starting with the ball in your right hand and perform the same sequence.

The next round requires you to bend your legs and stay low. Perform two pound dribbles and then a crossover. As soon as you perform the crossover, touch the cone with the hand that was just dribbling.

Finish your workout with some core exercises.

Get in pushup position and begin dribbling the ball with one hand while maintaining position.

Change to practicing two pound dribbles before crossing the ball over to your other hand while staying in pushup position.

The last exercise is a version of Russian twists. Sit on the ground and lean back a bit while lifting your legs up a little. You’re going to pass the ball between your legs while focusing on keeping your core tight.

If you want to cop the gear Adrianna is wearing in these videos head to eastbay.com right now for the best deal on it. Make sure to follow her on Instagram as well @adriannahahn

Cut, Jump, and Run. The Nike Greater Than Series Has Arrived

Cut, Jump, and Run. The Nike Greater Than Series Has Arrived

Dropping May 25, 2021

 

Creating space is the ultimate goal in basketball. It could be space to get your shot off, space to make a better pass to a teammate, or space to grab an offensive rebound. There are plenty of different ways to create space on the court, whether it’s outrunning a defender, perfectly timing a cut, or simply jumping over them. To help you create space more easily, Nike is launching the Zoom Air Greater Than series. This collection has three silhouettes that are specifically designed to help you get the most out of your cuts, speed, or hops.

The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut is built for players who thrive off perfectly timed cuts. Whether it’s a backdoor cut for an easy layup or you’re slicing inside to open up room for a teammate, the geometry of the GT Cut caters to a low-to-the-ground sensation. There is a parabolic Zoom Air Strobel and heel Air Zoom Unit that help you go from standing still to exploding to the basket in a split second. It also provides the comfort and responsiveness that every player loves.

Along the front side of the shoe, just above the outsole, is a stabilizing rail guard that gives your foot more support, so you’re not getting tripped up as you explode off either foot. Nike designers also incorporated a molded tongue to improve the fit and comfort of the shoe.

The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut hits eastbay.com on May 25. Stay tuned throughout the year for the launch of the GT Run and GT Jump silhouettes. We will be updating this piece as more information comes in.